What Career Choices Do I Have After Graduating with a US BA Degree?

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What Career Choices Do I Have After Graduating with a US BA Degree?

If you are approaching the end of your high school education, your mind is probably full of questions about what you want to do after you graduate. Do you want to continue your education or just jump right into your career? If you do choose to study, what kind of degree would be best? What kinds of careers can I pursue with each kind of Bachelor's Degree anyway? These are all important questions that you need to consider carefully before making your decision. The following guide will provide you with the general information you need, but you still need to do research for the specific fields that interest you.

  • What is a Bachelor of Arts?

    Before you can decide which career you want to pursue, you need to have an understanding of US Bachelor's Degrees and what they are useful for. You also need to know about the different kinds of Bachelor Degrees. First of all, most students begin their college education by entering a Bachelor’s Degree program. This is a great place to start. This level of education usually requires four years to complete in the US. Earning a Bachelor's Degree allows students to enroll in even more advanced degree programs. More commonly, however, Bachelor graduates can jump right into their career. There are two primary types of Bachelor's Degrees. There is the Bachelor of Arts, or BA, and the Bachelor of Science, or BS. This short guide will focus on the career options that are available after earning a Bachelor of Arts.

  • The Difference Between a BS and BA

    Most soon-to-be college students make the mistake of assuming the biggest difference between a BA and a BS is the subject matter. It is easy to assume that you can only study the arts in a Bachelor of Arts program and only science in a Bachelor of Science program. It is true that each of these categories is better suited for these subjects, but they do not limit what you choose to study. For example, based on name alone, it may seem like psychology students must earn a Bachelor of Science. However, in reality, it is possible to earn both a BA or a BS in Psychology. A better way of thinking about these two categories is that they use different structures. BA programs usually are more lenient. Students have more freedom when selecting classes and can study topics only partially related to their major. A BA program requires fewer credits, but also typically requires liberal art courses, such as humanities or literature. As a result, most BA majors relate to liberal arts or humanities in some way.On the other hand, BS programs are highly specialized and focused. They allow students to go into greater depth in their field at the cost of diversity. As a result, Bachelor of Science majors are usually more technical in nature.

  • The Three Most Common Career Paths

    There are a huge number of careers that you can attain with a Bachelor of Arts. Some of them are more straightforward and expected than others. The three most common areas that graduates with a BA enter are fine arts, art theory and education.Fine ArtsEntering into the fine arts field essentially means you want to work as an artist. There are several different ways you can go about this. You can create and sell your own art as a full-time job, but many artists find it to be difficult to earn enough money to live. This is especially true when first starting out. Another option that can combat this issue is to have a part-time job for money and create art on the side. This may sound unappealing, but there is no reason your part-time job cannot be creative and fulfilling. Once you have established yourself, it is much easier to sustain your lifestyle with your art. The third option is to join a studio and work alongside many other artists or to become a freelance artist.There are many different art forms you can study in a fine arts Bachelor’s Degree program. This includes painting, illustration, theater, film, photography, animation, graphic design, music, sculpting and more. Most artistic students who want to study fine arts already practice one of these art forms, but want to expand their abilities to make a career out of it. Art TheoryAnother common career path that serves as an alternative to fine arts is art theory. This field of study is more focused on the critique and facilitation of art, rather than its creation. Courses usually involve art history and cultural aspects of art. One of the benefits of studying art theory is that work is more consistent after graduation.The most well-known application of a BA degree when studying art theory is critic or art journalist. Anyone who reviews music, film, paintings, or other art forms and writes about them professionally most likely holds a Bachelor of Arts. Positions in management also fall under this category. These can include audition managers, stage directors, recruiters, locations scouts, producers and assistant directors. Museum curators or guides may have focused on art theory when studying for their BA, but they also may have focused on the third major category: art education.Art EducationIf you have a passion for teaching others about art, it is possible to earn a Bachelor of Arts in order to become a teacher, lecturer, studio leader, tutor or professor. This category is closely tied with the art theory category because any teacher needs to have a strong understanding of the theory behind their chosen art. While it is possible to study art education from the very beginning, most educators in the field of art start out as artists themselves. Unless you already know you only want to teach, it may be a good idea to study a particular art form. This gives you the chance to experiment and learn what area you enjoy the most. Keep in mind that to become a teacher or professor, you need to fulfill extensive qualifications through graduate school degrees, but you get started with a BA.

  • Less Common Career Choices With a BA

    Many students are surprised to learn how many majors can fall into the Bachelor of Arts category. In fact, many of them may not seem like they make sense for an art degree. The following list explores some of these unexpected majors and how they are different when taken as part of a Bachelor of Arts.AnthropologyWhile anthropology is a science, it is actually more common for students to enroll in a BA for this field. After all, anthropology is the study of humankind, including culture and society. These are the exact areas that many art majors focus on. This field usually requires students to study a few foreign languages as well. Graduates can become an anthropologist, a historian, or another kind of cultural scientist.SciencesThere are many different science fields that are still possible in a BA program. Surprisingly, these include chemistry, biology and psychology. If you choose to study any of these sciences in a Bachelor of Arts program, there is more room to combine scientific fields or integrate cultural aspects to your studies. Careers include biologist, chemist, psychiatrist or psychologist.CommunicationOne of the biggest career paths for BA graduates is marketing, which falls under communication studies. Possible positions include brand specialist, consumer researcher, client specialist, press secretary and recruitment officer. The Bachelor of Arts serves as a great foundation for an education in law to become a lawyer. If the marketing field interests you, you should also consider earning a Bachelor of Business Administration, or BBA.Computer ScienceStudying computer science in the art field allows for the area of study to be interconnected with other fields. There is a focus on programming like a BS computer science program, but there are also foreign language requirements and integration courses. All sorts of artistic fields need computer experts and programmers.HistoryOnce again, history is a field where the normal degree is a BA. History majors study humanities, social sciences, foreign language and literature, all of which are firmly grounded in the liberal arts. Some of the possible career choices for history graduates include researcher, teacher, congressional aide, information specialist, historian, public relations manager, archivist, broadcaster and more.MathematicsThe biggest difference between a BA in Mathematics and a BS in Mathematics is the flexibility of the program. If you want to study many different mathematical fields, a BA is likely the better option. The only aspect that may incorporate traditional artistic elements is statistics, which is often used to model cultural or social aspects.Whether you are preparing to go off to college for the first time or are approaching the completion of your Bachelor's Degree, you need to understand your career options. No matter which area of study you choose for yourself, there are many different positions and career paths available, with a huge range of applications.

Levels Explained

  • Bachelor's

    A bachelor's degree (also called a first degree or undergraduate degree) is attained after receiving a post-secondary (high school) education and generally spans four years. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as bachelor or undergraduate students. A bachelor's degree is usually offered at an institution of higher education, such as a university.

  • Master's

    A master’s degree (or postgraduate or graduate education) involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees. This degree is preceded by a bachelor’s degree and generally takes two years to complete. Students pursuing these types of degrees are commonly referred to as master's, or grad students.

  • Pathway

    Bachelor’s and master’s pathway programs are designed for international students who need additional English language and academic preparation before continuing to a degree program at a university. The purpose of these programs are to give students the confidence and skills needed to succeed in college.